Thursday, December 5, 2019

Running fast for citizenship

When he was 14, Kone Yossodjo lost his father, and his mom said she could not take care of him. He made his way from Ivory Coast to Morocco, and then to Spain, where, at 19, he has become one of the nation's fastest runners.

Last season, Kone won five of 11 races and became Andalusia's 5,000-meter champion. But he runs for more than fame or glory. At a time of anti-immigrant sentiment, he says, "I want to show the people of Spain that migrants can add to society." He hopes to represent Spain in the 2024 Olympics, and it just might happen. According to his coach, if Kone can trim 30 seconds from his four-minute mark in the 1,500 meter run, Spain will grant him citizenship.

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